Tag Archives: Len McCluskey

Trade Unions Unite For Militant And Sustained General Strike Len McClusky Announces

"Fuck the law ... I'll go to jail if I have to" said McClusky

“Fuck the law … I’ll go to jail if I have to” said McCluskey

In a genuinely historic move, every trade union in the UK has signed up to a sustained general strike against austerity which could begin in the next few days Unite leader Len McCluskey has confirmed.

The shock announcement comes after months of secret meetings by union bosses in which agreement was reached to take decisive action to fight back against the demolition of the welfare state and NHS.  In a statement released early this morning McCluskey said:  “We are tearing up the rule book.  Fuck the law, I’ll go to jail if I have to.  It’s time to take a decisive stand and we call on everybody, in or out of work, to join  a sustained militant campaign  to support the strikes.”

Every union is believed to have agreed to take part and to adopt old style tactics, such as squads of flying pickets, to strengthen the strike.  They have called on non-union members to help them blockade workplaces and picket the homes of scabs.  Only those staff involved in essential services, such as emergency healthcare and processing pensions and benefit payments will remain at work.

McCluskey confirms that unions will ballot on a strike within two weeks, however walk-outs could start to take place in the next few days: “We will not wait.  This Government would make all trade union activity illegal if they had their way.  It’s time to show them that no matter what laws they introduce we will resist them and we are millions strong.  The fightback starts now and it stops only when we win,  We will bring this country to a standstill.”

He was joined in the announcement by Mark Serwotka of the PCS Union which counts thousands of Jobcentre staff amongst their members.  In a surprise move Serwotka apologised to claimants for the union’s inaction to date:  “We got it wrong,” he said “we should have acted much earlier.  The leadership of the PCS Union can only issue a sincere apology to all who have suffered under this regime and we are desperate to make amends.  From today we are instructing our members to refuse to impose benefit sanctions or administer the Work Capability Assessment.  We hope to  have a full strike in place, with every Jobcentre and DWP office closed, by the end of the week.”

McCluskey continued: “All of us took our eyes off the ball, there is no doubt about that and it is time to rectify that situation.  We cannot stand another five years of neo-liberal reforms”

On the subject of the Labour Party, McCluskey continued: “The modern Labour Party is pathetic and the party political system is broken.  Unless they stand behind this strike in both word and deed then the Labour Party will not see another penny from any trade union”.  Senior Labour Party figures were said to be reeling from the news.  Owen Jones, for once, was unavailable for comment.

Instead unions are set to pour millions into grassroots campaigns which are committed to using direct action tactics to fight back against austerity policies.  “Close motorways, occupy public buildings, be creative and most of all cost the bastards money” said McCluskey, “whatever you need, we will pay, details of how to apply for funding will be available on our website from tomorrow.”

Unions are believed to have taken action to protect cash reserves to protect against government attempts to sequester or block funds.  Detailed secret contingency plans are in place should union leaders be jailed.

The move comes as over 100 anti-poverty and disability charities signed a statement pledging non-cooperation with this, or any government until every single welfare reform introduced by Iain Duncan Smith is revoked.  Some of the biggest organisations in the country are even set to give up charitable status to allow them to campaign more vigorously against government policy.  A spokesperson for the Leonard Cheshire Foundation confirmed the news: “Enough is enough, it’s time to fight back, by any and all means necessary.”.

Senior Tories have yet to comment on the move, but McCluskey is unrepentant.  Revealing his personal motivation for the strikes he explained: “I did not come into trade unionism to see everything that working class people have fought for over the years destroyed whilst we stand on the sidelines.  History will not forgive us if we do not act now.  We will not go back to work until a radical new settlement is reached or until the whole rotten neo-liberal charade comes crashing down.  I’m proud to be part of this great initiative which will place trade unions right back where they should be – at the heart of working class struggle.”

(do not hold your fucking breath, sadly this could only ever be an April Fool)

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Unite For Workfare, Atos and the Bedroom Tax

atos_david_millibandThe head of the UK’s largest union, Unite, has issued a gushing statement praising Ed Miliband’s recent ‘worklessness’ diatribe in which he announced mass workfare should the Labour Party ever claw their way back into power.

According to Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite: “Ed Miliband’s speech offers hope that there is an alternative to George Osborne’s punishing experiment with the national economy.”

During the speech Miliband announced the party will bring in a “a compulsory jobs guarantee, young people will have an obligation to take a job after a year or lose their benefits”.

Those over 25 who have been unemployed over one year will also be subject to the same rules.  These jobs will temporary and paid at the minimum wage, which will be funded by the tax payer.  Employers will be required to provide  an additional ten hours training – although whether those on the scheme will be paid for that training is unclear.

The scheme seems almost identical to the current Wage Incentive programme, the Tory scheme which is currently being rinsed by the private sector who are laughing all the way to the bank as the tax payer funds their wage bill.  Under this scheme companies are paid by the government to employ young people on shit wages for six months before sacking them in favour of another government subsidised employee.

It appears that Len McCluskey supports one million workfare-style jobs being created with little or no job security and which are pegged at the minimum wage.  This according to McCluskey is Milliband’s ‘alternative’ –  a near carbon copy of a Tory scheme already in existence which will drive down wages for everybody and remove the right of young or long term unemployed people to choose where they work.

It also seems that McCluskey supports single parents being hounded by DWP busy-bodies to prevent ‘worklessness being passed down from one generation to another’.  Miliband announced in his speech that even those with toddlers should be bullied by Jobcentres to carry out work related activity or training whilst their kids are at play school.

Presumably McCluskey is also in favour of the brutal Atos regime which has led to hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people having benefits slashed.  Whilst Miliband claims the Work Capability Assessments that his government introduced needs some reform, he is adamant in his support for the tests and claims they are the ‘right thing to do’.

It is the right thing to do, according to Miliband, to find the people who ‘need help to get into work’ or ‘who can work without support’.  In other words Miliband and McCluskey share the rhetoric that significant numbers of people on Incapacity Benefit are faking their conditions – or need some kind of Work Programme – no doubt involving workfare – to bully them into work.

Miliband didn’t stop there.  He is also in favour of the introduction of the Personal Independence Payments – the replacement for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) which has been designed to slash benefits from 20% of disabled people.  All Miliband has to say about this Tory policy is that it is important to have the ‘right’ tests in this area, as if the Tory’s are proposing to have the ‘wrong’ kind of test.  There is barely a cigarette paper between Miliband’s attitude to sickness and disability benefits and Iain Duncan Smith’s current vile agenda.  And McCluskey is backing him all the way.

What Miliband didn’t say in last week’s speech is also significant.  Whilst 600,000 people currently face losing their homes due to the bedroom tax, and another 50,000 at least due to the benefit cap, Miliband chose not to even mention it.  And why would he, Labour support not just a cap on benefits for individuals but also a cap on social security spending overall.   And whilst some in the Labour Party have shamelessly exploited those facing poverty and homelessness by pretending to be opposed to the bedroom tax, behind the scenes Labour were plotting a near exact same move themselves – something else that McCluskey is happy to get behind.

Miliband’s proposals will be a disaster for claimants and low paid workers alike, yet the head of the UK’s largest trade union is singing his praises from the rooftops.  What is perhaps most contemptible of all is that Unite also run a Community Membership scheme for benefit claimants.

Unite have been only too happy to take money from claimants to subscribe to this branch of the union by pretending they are on the side of those on benefits.  Yet as soon as their pampered pet in the Labour Party launches an attack on claimants they are the loudest voices in support.  Unite Community members who choose to tear up their membership papers up after McCluskey’s shameful support of Miliband’s benefit bashing should also consider asking for their fucking money back.

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